Licorice: Candy or Cure?

Do you think of licorice as candy or as a cure? Do you even think of licorice at all?

If not, I’m hoping this blog post will change that.

Tutankhamen was buried with it to guard him from evil spirits.

Greek and Roman soldiers chewed it to quench their thirst as they marched through the desert.

Even the Karma Sutra recommended drinking it with milk and sugar as an aphrodisiac.

The root of glycyrrhiza glabra, which we know as licorice, is a very extensively used and scientifically researched herb.

There are published reports of its effectiveness with ulcers and it has been shown to soothe bowel and kidney irritation, cleanse the colon and strengthen the liver. Especially when taken as a tea, it has been shown to be helpful in treating sore throats and bronchitis.

When used topically, the acid in the root provides relief from canker sores, eczema and psoriasis. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory and also acts as an anti-arthritic.

You’ll find the real thing, (not the candy variety), at health food stores which usually carry both natural dried licorice root and licorice herbal supplements and extracts. Be sure to consult with an herbalist first because as with many things, consuming more is not necessarily good.


Licorice tea is made by decoction, the customary way to make tea out of hard, twiggy plant parts like roots and bark. Put 1-2 teaspoons of dried licorice into a pot or saucepan. Add 1 cup of water for each teaspoon of licorice. Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer on low heat for 10-20 minutes. Add a little honey, apple juice or liquid stevia to the tea after it has simmered if you want additional sweetness.

Try some tea or use licorice when you’re challenged by any of the ailments licorice helps. Let me know what you think!


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